Oct. 18, by Nathaly Pesantez
An urban farm situated in Hunters Point will be hosting its second annual harvest festival, a fundraising event featuring food, live shows, carnival games, and a “silent auction”, on Saturday.
The Smiling Hogshead Ranch’s event will take place on its one acre farm on Oct. 21 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 25-30 Skillman Ave., where a lineup of community and environmental groups will be present, along with performances from seven musical acts. Attendees can also take part in a medley of family games and activities, including face painting, a photo booth, and football toss at the festival.
Community, health, and environmentally-focused groups with tables include; Sunnyside Shines, which will hand out welcome kits and sunflower seed packets; the Fortune Society, which works toward prison-reform, and Vokashi Kitchen Waste Solution, a group that will teach a demo on composting methods. In total, 20 tables will be present at the event.
A variety of foods will be available at the event, including Dalia’s Tacos, donuts from Astoria’s Krispy Elite to be used for a donut bobbing game, pastries from Tom Cat’s Bakery and the 51st Bakery and Cafe, and honey samples from the Honey Bee Conservancy.
Musical acts ranging from Os Cavelitos, a samba band, Aya Aziz, an Arabian folk, pop and R&B trio will play at the Harvest Festival, with the Funkrust Brass Band leading a sunset procession toward the end of the festival.
A “silent” auction will be held at the event, with items including a bike donated by Nomad Cycle, tickets to see the Blue Man Group, and more. The auction works by a list at the event where attendees can see bids on an item and write in a higher bid until 5:30 p.m., when the auction closes.
The harvest festival is free and open to the public, but food and drinks, along with carnival games and activities, will be ticketed. Attendees will pay $1.00 for each ticket, with food items and activities going no more than 5 tickets.
All funds raised at the event will go toward the Smiling Hogshead Ranch, which will use the funds towards yearly operational costs, according to Rose Moon, a board member for the garden. Moon and the Smiling Hogshead Ranch raised $1,250 last year, and hope to reach $5,000 at the festival.
The Smiling Hogshead Ranch, the name which came about after a pig skeleton was found on the roughly half-acre site, came about in 2011 after a group of 10 to 15 guerrilla farmers began planting fruit and vegetables on the abandoned site owned by the MTA. The group successfully negotiated a lease agreement with the MTA to continue to use the plot as a garden in 2014.